Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mr. Lincoln

A few summers ago I found a lithograph of Abe Lincoln at a yard sale and snatched it up for $10!  It had hung in the Casco Village Library since the '70s. My future plans involve spray painting the mat white, as it is pretty dingy from 40 years of life! 

Now that I have a new house, I have lots of bare walls that need decorating.  This portrait of Mr. Lincoln is officially the first piece of art to adorn the walls!  Very fitting for a president!

He is hanging in the corner of the living room next to a book case...I'm going for a little library-type feel.  I just assembled the book case yesterday (from Target as are the curtains) and thus have more decorating to do since I haven't put any books or many accessories out yet.

I'm going for a tone-on-tone gray scheme since my current living room furniture is a gray/greenish color which is proving difficult with which to coordinate!  Please notice the darling throw pillow with the bird motif that was a gift from my cousin Laurence who owns a cute home decor shop in Montreal! It fits perfectly with the decor!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anchors Away!

I've been loving the modern look of drum shades and found a great one on sale for around $80 at Lowes. There was one problem, however:

The inside of the shade had pictures of 'nautical' scenes like anchors, shells, etc. which didn't exactly jive with the overall look I was going for in the dining room, particularly because I don't live in a beach house!
The outside of the lamp was a really pretty gray linen, however, so I thought I could do something with the inside to cover up the pictures.  First, I taped off the outside and the hardware of the shade and spray painted the inside with metallic silver paint.  It definitely did a nice job covering the images but it didn't look very good as every little speck of dust, fibers from the linen shade, and splatters from the spray paint made it look very amateur.

My second solution was to purchase white linen fabric, cut it to size, and glue it to the inside of the shade.  I used Elmer's spray glue because anything else (like regular glue) would've looked uneven under the fabric because you could see the lines of the glue.
It worked great and looked great!   Next, the edges of the fabric were frayed and needed to be covered. I used white grosgrain ribbon and glued it around both edges.

I tried using hot glue on the ribbon first, but again, you could see the lines of the glue.  So I used fabric glue but used a paint brush to apply it to the back of the ribbon.  Now, you can't even tell that I 'doctored' the just looks like it came that way!  Ba-buh seashells and anchors!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Stenciling With Martha

In continuing to try to get all the painting projects done before move-in day, I spent the better part of yesterday (9 hours!!!) stenciling a feature wall in what will be my master bedroom.  While visiting Home Depot for the gazillionth time, I saw that Martha Stewart has a new line of metallic paints.  I toyed with the idea of painting the entire room with Tin, a silver metallic, but after doing some test swatches and reading up a bit on metallic paints, I found out it would take many coats to get even coverage. 

Instead I decided I would try a stencil.  Perhaps when you think 'stencil' what comes to mind is apple borders around kitchens or some cheesy mural of ancient Rome, but stencils today are really 'sick' (vocab picked up from my teenage students...'sick'= 'great' or 'awesome' or 'swell', depending on your age).

The room combines elements from all three of the above images (first image found here, second and third images are from the stencil links below).  I used the silver metallic Martha Stewart paint pictured in the first image (the stencil), with the stencil pictured in the second image, and am going for an overall gray theme in the room pictured in the third image.

The base wall color in my room is Cumulus Cloud, again by Martha for Home Depot is a really pretty blue/gray:
I purchased the stencil from Royal Design Studio but have also seen some really 'sick' (see definition above) stencils at Cutting Edge Stencils.  I found the tutorial section at Cutting Edge to be really helpful.  Here's what you'll need if you'd like to stencil your wall:

-a stencil (duh!)
-paint with which to stencil
-a small foam roller (I used one that is for painting doors)
-repositionable adhesive...I used Krylon Easy-Tack Repositionable Adhesive which I had to search high and low for and can only be found online or at Michaels or possibly AC Moore
-card board, drop cloth, painters tape
-hair dryer

The first step is to find the center of your wall.  You want to start your stencil at the top and in the center of your wall and then make your way to the outer edges. I sprayed the back of the stencil with the repositionable adhesive then lined it up at the top of the wall. *Important learn-from-my-mistake- note:  I sprayed more adhesive on the stencil after every 3 or 4th stencil to make sure the edges remained 'crisp'.  This was a mistake...toward the end, the stencil became so sticky that it ripped off some of the wall paint when trying to remove it.  I would recommend using the adhesive sparingly.

Next, load your foam roller with paint.  It is important to roll the excess paint off the roller and on to your scrap card board. You want to go to the wall with minimal paint on the roller.  Then very careful to avoid obvious roller marks and lines when rolling on the stencil.  I used two coats and pulled the stencil off immediately after the second coat.

Before you can line up the next stencil, you have to make sure the bottom of the previous stencil is dry.  I used a hair dryer to speed up the process. Continue on down the wall and viola...
Trellis Pattern Stenciled Wall with Martha Stewart Metallic Paint

Because of the style of stencil, you can't really see mistakes all that well...they just blend right in!  The awkward part comes at the edges. On the outer edge, I had enough room to do a half stencil on either side. But on the bottom, there wasn't really enough room to do even a half of a stencil so I just decided to leave it and figured the furniture would cover it up!

The results are beautiful and dramatic but be prepared to devote an entire day to this project!  You can see the room fully furnished in an updated post here.  A sneak peek...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


My front door got a makeover...she had her hair 'did', her nails polished, and was 'bejeweled'.  Here she is in all her pre-makeover glory:

Blah!  She just doesn't stand out!  She's like Jan Brady...caught in the middle and totally ignored!  I wrestled for a while with what color I should paint her, the top contenders being red or black.  I played around with Photoshop a bit before deciding...
Red door, black shutters.  I didn't quite like the red with the light gray.  If the siding had been darker gray I would have gone with red.  In the end I chose...

Black!  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The color makes the white trim pop and really plays well with the gray siding.  If you're like me, you love a good 'before' and 'after' side-by-side shot so here it is:

I purchased the house number from Maxwell Pottery in the Old Port.  For years, I used to go in there and see these really funky brushed nickel house numbers and dream about the day when I would actually have a house of my own that would need such a number.  A few months ago I was in the store and the ONLY number they had left was 9!  I think it was meant to be (and for me)!

She got some great 'bling', too! And she really, really needed it...
I wanted a 'fancy' handle but they were $125+ at the big box home stores so I looked online and found this one for half the price at Overstock. Score!  So there you have it, a makeover story.  Time will tell if she can maintain the look!  Oh, and here is a sneak peak of the 'in progress' porch makeover:



I'm back!  I've been devoting all my blogging energy to HerStory About History, my classroom blog, but now that it's summer (and I have a new house), I plan on devoting much more time to Crafty Teacher Lady!

The house is getting her last minute finishing details in order to get the occupancy permit and I'm schedule to move in THIS weekend.  I've been scrambling to finish the last few painting projects that I wanted to get done before moving the furniture in.  One of the projects was adding a little somethin' somethin' to what will be the office/craft room.

I had originally painted it Light French Gray by Behr but decided it was too blue so I painted it a second time in Driftwood Gray by Martha Stewart (for Home Depot) which is pictured above.  Once the room was complete with trim and dark floors, I felt it was way to 'blah' and kinda masculine.

So, I trolled the blogosphere for inspiration and here is what I found:
The first image can be found here and the second image can be found here. I love, love, love me some stripes! Here's how my room turned out:
I decided, at least for now, to paint only one wall and treat it as the feature wall of the entire room.  I quite frankly don't have time to paint stripes on all four walls since I am moving in t-minus 3 days.  Plus, I think once white curtains are up on the window, there won't be much wall to see!

 I found a really helpful tutorial on how best to paint stripes at one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love.  I did find their suggestion to pull the painters tape off IMMEDIATELY after painting (as opposed to letting it dry) really did work.  I only have to touch up in a few spots, mainly in the corners where I brushed instead of rolled and the paint dried more quickly.  Oh and this was a necessity: 
So, there you have it, my adventures with stripes!